The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association’s (FNGLA) 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE), January 21-23, 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas, and left energized for the season ahead.
More than 6,000 attendees from 42 states and 39 countries made for a five-year high, according to FNGLA. Trade show traffic was up, with 50 new exhibitors and increases in buyer attendance. The TPIE Road Show, offering visits to area nurseries, retail stores and green wall attractions, was a sell-out event. Keynote speaker Christine Boland, a Dutch trend analyst, shared notable social trend markers, and how they apply to the green industry, with a standing-room-only audience.
The TPIE Happy Hour on the first day of the show was sponsored by Suntory Flowers. The highlight of the evening: entertainment by McArthur High School, from Hollywood, Fla. After an introduction by T. Jay Higgins of SunFire Nurseries, who works with the school’s FFA chapter and helped the school purchase and set up a greenhouse this past year, a mob of students danced through the streets and captured the hearts of show attendees.
Cool New Products And Varieties
The theme this year was inspiration and innovation, and these values were evident in the creative exhibits at the trade show. The TPIE Best In Show booth award went to United Nurseries for its red carpet experience, complete with plant-themed movie posters playing off real movie titles. Other booth stars included Silver Vase, which captured the first place Island Exhibit Award.
The Most Unusual Plant Specimen Award went to DeRoose Plants for Vriesia ‘Naomi.’
Buyers at TPIE voted on their favorite new plants and products. Winners were:
- Favorite flowering plant – ‘Black Velvet’ orchid by Silver Vase
- Favorite foliage plant – Philodendron ‘Lickety Split’ by Oglesby Plants International
- Favorite New Product – Big Bag Bed Mini by High Caliper Growing
The TPIE Cool Products awards, selected by The Garden Center Group, are presented during the show, offering exhibitors an opportunity to talk about their new products. There were 15 cool products for 2015, covering a mix of plants, packaging and related products.
TPIE Main Attractions
Other highlights of the show included the TPIE Create Theater, which allowed members of the American Institute of Floral Designers a showcase for a designer duel and daily workshops. The TPIE Interiorscape Award Winners Showcase featured top award winners from the PLANET, PIA and I-Plants and Urban Horticulture magazine awards programs. Eight projects from across North America were recognized, including special event displays, green walls and colorful container plantings.
New this year was FNGLA’s Certifications Showcase, where hundreds of attendees practiced for the FNGLA Landscape Certificate exam stations, including plant identification and job evaluation. Mentors and judges were on hand, answering questions and encouraging industry professionals to become FNGLA-certified.
Check out the gallery to view new trends, ideas and products from TPIE 2015. Visit the FNGLA website to learn more about TPIE and its other programs and capabilities.